Storyboarding Your Novel

Posted by Backyard Urban Gardening on Friday, May 11, 2007

This post is the second in a series I'll be making regarding the process of outling a novel. This assignment is taken from Write a Novel, a resource created by Crawford Kilian, Communications Instructor at Capilano College in North Vancouver BC.

Scene 1: Jeremiah White overhears his best friend, business partner, and half -brother Elijah Rowe talking on the cell phone about selling the family farm property to a local real estate developer. The two men had long ago made a pact that they would never sell out to commercial interests. It was about working the land and passing it all down to their children and children's children.

Scene 2: Jeremiah confronts Elijah about the telephone call and a huge argument erupts. The two men nearly come to blows when they are interrupted by Roxanne White at the height of the arguement.

Scene 3: Jeremiah discovers $300,000 missing from his checking account. A visit to the bank reveals that his son, David White, has been embezzling money from the farm account by cashing fraudulent checks. The bank cashed 3 checks before discovering the scheme. Wife, Cathering White, knew about it all along, but did not want to tell Jeremiah about it because it would upset him in an effort to protect her son.

Scene 4: Jeremiah discovers David smoking marijuana in the family's game room while entertaining friends which includes Patrick Mason the trouble maker son of the town drunk. Jeremiah throws them out of the house. Out of embarrassment David vow's he'll kill Jeremiah if he ever embarrasses him again. Jeremiah confronts David about the stolen money and demands it be paid back within two-weeks or be reported to the county sheriff.

Scene 5: Jeremiah makes a visit to the county sherriff's office and later to his attorney to explore the process for filing a complaint against his only son.

Scene 6: Elijah see's Jeremiah working in the field and stops by to talk to him in an attempt to convince him once again to sell. Elijah is in trouble with the feds for tax evasion and has recently been diagnosed with cancer. He needs the money. In a fit of desparation he vows to file a law suit.

Scene 7: David White steals Catherine's engagement ring and wedding band during a recent visit in celebration of Catherine's 55th birthday.

Scene 8: Roxanne injures her back helping Jeremiah unload a load of straw and is hospitalized. She is confined to a wheel chair during her rehabilitation period.

Scene 9: Jeremiah is shot as he leaves the house to complete the morning chores. Roxanne hears the shots and discovers her father's body laying in the hallway. From her wheelchair sitting at the kitchen table, she calls 911 and reports the shooting.

Scene 10: Sheriff's deputies investigate Jeremiah's murder and question David White for the crime. David White points the finger at his friend Patrick Mason.

Scene 11: Deputies visit the home of Patrick Mason and discover shell casings matching the gun that killed Jeremiah.

Scene 12: Catherine White discovers that Elijah Rowe is making plans to sell the family farm. In an effort to save the farm and shift the blame from her son. She points the deputies toward Elijah Rowe for the murder.

I've written these sporadic scenes in chronological order, but need to intertwine additional scenes to "fill out" the storyline.

I plan to add a few scenes about the long standing love relationship between Catherine and Elijah and a jilting that takes place when Elijah begins dating a much younger woman.

What do you think of the basic plotline and theme so far? What suggestions do you have for improvement?


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